But neither did Puff Daddy, and as a music blogger (even one who’s been missing for a couple of months) my hard drive is stuffed to bursting with ‘versions‘.

For decades record companies have used remixes as a marketing tool. Major acts would commission a variety of remixes to appeal to the various scenes… “right this new Sting track is amazing but we’d like a pop mix, a northern dance round the handbag club mix, a hip-hop take, and a credible electronic version please“… “oh and make sure you use all the current big name DJ’s“. Before Gallup tightened the rules, remixes could be spread out over multiple editions of singles to force completist fans to buy every format and boost chart positions.
Now that no one buys physical single releases anymore the role of the remix has changed once again. Take Little Boots, the Sound of 2009 or one might harshly say the sound of hype before the substance is quite there. Tipped to the heavens for greatness by people who I swear had only heard one track, if that. Lukewarm album reviews and sales followed, and now the new single “Earthquake” is being promoted with a mass of remixes. My inbox contains 5 or more versions, all with the official ok to disseminate at will.
Thats not to say Little Boots won’t go on to great success or to single her out, everyone is at it. Indeed over the last 6 weeks I reckon I’ve bought, stumbled across or been sent over 250 different remixes. Fortunately out of those I’ve listened to, about 50 are pretty damn good which is not a bad strike rate.

So in a lazy attempt to kick start my blogging habit I thought I’d go through a few goodies.

little-boots

After being a little harsh about her I’ll start with Little Boots, and a mix by the pastmasters of the dance anthem, The Stonemasons. Their reworking of “Earthquake” hits the button marked 90’s pop dance, harking back to the type of treatment the Brothers In Rhythm used to serve up.

It’s the kind of wonderful pop froth that Kylie, Madonna, Britney, and Little Boots herself totally failed to deliver all year.

Little Boots – Earthquake” (MP3)
Twitter / Website

From the Sound of 09 to a group sure to be on the tipsters lips for the dawning of the <insert whatever the next decade’s going to be called>. Clock Opera’s debut 7″ is available from the ever excellent Puregroove records, but it wont be long before the major labels come calling. Last month I managed to miss seeing them play live three times in one week. Something I intend to put right in the new year.

Clock Opera – White Noise (Django Django mix)” (MP3) / (Video)
Buy 7″ from Puregroove / Myspace / Facebook

CLOSE TO THE EDIT

Before delving into any more remixes lets quickly turn to the “Edit”. This blog has waffled at length about the re-edit, ie chopping up, reordering, lengthening a song rather than necessarily remixing it. The Edit had its peak in the disco era but has undergone something of a renaissance of late thanks to the likes of Greg Wilson.

Recently an edit appeared on my harddrive that may actually take the crown of “my favourite of all time“. I say “appeared” because I cant for the life of me remember where it came from.
Tim H & Pablosounds edit of Arthur Russell’s first crack at “Dance” music “Kiss Me Again” is nothing short of phenomenal. Recorded in 1978 under the pseudonym of Dinosaur the 14 minute long original is famously bonkers, featuring cello, a disco diva, piano, horns and an off the hook guitar courtesy of Talking Heads David Byrne. To get a flavour of the track read the perfect description by Mr.Disco on his blog.

While searching for more information on the people responsible for the re-edit I came across a discussion of the tracks various mixes in which “Tim” explains his version.

Somewhere amongst all the versions there is a KILLER track struggling to make itself heard.
That edit me and PabloSound did a couple of years back was based on the 12.42 ‘Kiss Me Again (Version)’ , off the red vinyl promo. That’s my favourite rendition, but we had to chop it up a lot to get it into a sensible structure
.”

Dinosaur – Kiss Me again (Tim & Pauls Edit)” (MP3)

Of course no discussion of Edits would be complete without a mention of Greg Wilson. I won’t worship at his feet for long but mention should be made of his arrival into the world of SoundCloud. SoundCloud is the latest buzz site for musicians and fans to share music. No self respecting artist is without one it seems. It offers control over downloads or streaming, a lovely interface, and most importantly listeners to your track can annotate the sound wave with remarks like “that snare is dope man!!!“.

Greg’s SoundCloud is packed full of exclusive mixes, and lots of his legendary edits. All free to download, some of which, like the Elektrons edit below were previously only available on one-sided 12”.

Elektrons – Get Up (Greg Wilson’s Special mix)” (MP3)
Visit Greg Wilson’s SoundCloud page for a host of other fantastic mixes and edits.

l_3295e8e1ece446dabb6d96f77fd80820POP WILL EAT ITSELF

There are certain darlings of the blog remix world who’s latest knob-twiddle is guaranteed to shoot up the hype machine. Don Diablo for example is actually a team of eight people who work in continuous shifts so as to supply 17 remixes a day to the inboxes of eager music bloggers.

Hailing from New York, the trio Lemonade are currently causing a storm both as artists and as in demand re-mixers. Thankfully they don’t operate a sausage factory policy and although prolific the quality level rarely drops. Glasser, aka Cameron Mesirow is one to benefit from Lemonade’s golden touch. Usually she employs her voice as an instrument perhaps like Kate Bush meets Bobby McPherrin, except that sounds like a bad thing! Check out her myspace to hear what I mean, but Lemonade strip the track down, lock it in an echo chamber and emerge with what reminds me of the Guy Called Gerald classic “Voodoo Ray“, and I do mean its that good! Beautiful in fact.

Glasser – “Apply (Lemonade remix)” (MP3)
Lemonade – “Sunchips (Ghosts on Tape Remix)” (MP3)
Glasser Myspace / Lemonade Myspace / Facebook

The XX are another band who not content with releasing one of the finest albums of the year still find the time to not only sneak out the odd remix, but hit the proverbial ball out of the park. Theyre even capable of feats of musical alchemy turning Jack Penate into certifiable gold.

Jack Penate – “Pull My Heart Away (Jamie XX remix)” (MP3)
Florence & The Machine – “Youve Got The Love (XX remix)” (MP3)
Eliza Doolittle – “Moneybox (Jamie XX Remix)” (MP3)

COVER MEl_b69bd743a6e145599961889a2b1b6812
Aside from getting yourself a snazzy remix, another way for a new band to get a bit of attention is the cover version. Preferably by a bloggers favourite so at the very least you show up on the hype machine when fans search for a free copy of their favourite bands new single.
It can be a dangerous tactic, if your covers terrible you risk the ire of people who spend far too much time sitting at a computer. Get it too right, or too good, and youre in danger of becoming The Futureheads.

One band who seem to have mastered the art of self-promotion though irresistible covers are Rachael, Mike and Matt, collectively known as Run Toto Run. Armed only with Rachaels digital camera, a set of angel wings and a couple of animal heads, their Passion Pit cover version charmed 80,000 Youtube viewers.
Now theyve repeated the trick with another beautiful cover, this time of Bombay Bicycle Club. They also have a single out, and new material on myspace from their forthcoming LP. One listener was so impressed by what he heard he offered to buy the band a PA system.

Run Toto Run – Always Like This” (MP3)
Run Toto Run – Sleepyhead” (MP3)
Run Toto Run – Myspace / Facebook / Twitter

Marina & The Diamonds opted for getting others to cover their new single. So far so mundane you might say but how about by a 20ish piece all girl choir going by the name of Gaggle?!

Marina & The Diamonds – Mowgli’s Road (Gaggle Cover)” (MP3)
Gaggle Myspace

Jah Wobble has been in the game too long to be accused of doing a cover for attentions sake. You can imagine Mr Wobble decided to cover “Get Carter” for his own merry idiosyncratic reasons. He remains one of the finest Bassists alive, and his Chinese Dub Orchestra LP has been collecting “world” music awards.

Jah Wobble – Get Carter (Version)” (MP3)
Jah Wobble Myspace

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